Well, for all of my plotting, watching the gauges, watching the weather and direct personal observation I still could not manage to predict correctly whether stripers and white bass, what I call rock hounds, would be hanging out at the jetties.
I thought sure the whitewater below the jetties would produce some striped fish but there were none I could find. Even fishermen with traditional tackle in a boat came in and tried their luck but couldn’t catch anything.
The day was perfect with a cool front having moved in making it far more pleasurable fishing the river. It felt like a Fall day yet it was only two days from August. Unheard of in Mississippi, really. The river had been stable within three feet for seven days, plenty of time for the rock hounds to congregate. But, my trip produced no striped fish, not even any skipjacks.
Of course I love to catch 5-15lb gar on my fly rod, so after giving up on the rock hounds, I just spent the day making a gar rodeo out of the situation. Sight casting gar is great sport, but they are picky fish and they have great eyesight. In the white water it’s easy to get the first one to take, but after one has tasted the hook its like they telepathically let the others know about it and you have to work for more.
This fish which I think was in the 13-15 lb range gave my six weight a workout, even jumping all of the way out of the water as he reached the bank, wriggling in the air like a tarpon.
This was a solo trip and it’s difficult to work the capstan winch by myself without risk of damaging my kayak so I adapted my deer dolly to the task of getting the kayak in and out of the river. Worked well, I just need to put some pool noodles on it to help protect the yak. I’m thinking some big air filled tires might help to keep from sinking into the sand and mud too.
Anyway, I would love to tell you I caught 50 or so white bass and a giant striper, but it didn’t happen. I will keep trying to find a striper index, but until the rock hounds show up, it’s just a gar rodeo.
My next jetty becomes fishable at around 12 feet. I’ll be watching tides and river gauges for the rest of the summer.